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Connecting, sharing knowledge, and applying innovations to improve services


The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) and the International Initiative for Disability Leadership (IIDL) are international learning collaboratives for mental health, addiction and disability leaders.

IIMHL and IIDL help leaders connect, share knowledge, and apply innovations to improve services. IIMHL and IIDL are government-funded initiatives.

For IIMHL please contact Janet Peters, the IIMHL liaison for New Zealand.

New Zealand's involvement in IIMHL

Nine countries participate in IIMHL: New Zealand, USA, England, Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Sweden, The Netherlands and Australia.

New Zealand is a founding member of IIMHL. Te Pou funds a staff member to work on planning, liaison and evaluation for IIMHL.

IIMHL and IIDL Leadership Exchange

The 2019 Leadership Exchange was held September 9-13. Matches were held across the US and Canada, with the Network Meeting held in Washington D.C. The theme of the exchange was “Leading the way forward: Access, Accountability & Action”.

See the Network meeting agenda and match topics.

New Zealand was allocated 30 places at the Exchange. A key issue was to ensure members of the New Zealand delegation were equipped and ideally placed to implement recommendations from He Ara Oranga: Report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction.

Learning from the IIMHL New Zealand leaders who attended the 2019 Exchange are available below in the Stories section.

Summaries of the IIMHL 2019 matches are available on the IIMHL website.

Future Leadership Exchanges

New date and format for IIMHL/IIDL 2022 Leadership Exchange

Original Event Date: February 28 - March 4, 2022
New Event Date: October 2022
New Format: Online with blend of regional/in person hubs, as travel conditions allow

Dear IIMHL/IIDL members,

After careful consideration, New Zealand leaders and IIMHL/IIDL have decided to reschedule the 2022 IIMHL/IIDL Christchurch Leadership Exchange event to October 2022. Due to ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments and restrictions, and with the wellbeing and safety of our members and staff as our highest priority, we have agreed to move the event to later in the year and to shift to a predominantly online format.

We are committed to providing the experience our members and partners deserve in a safe environment and have decided to move the event to a virtual leadership exchange with potentially a blend of regional in-person hubs, which would see leaders travelling within their continental region to meet, if travel conditions allow. We are proud that our exchanges and matches are more than presentations and speeches and serve as an opportunity for network-building, collaboration, and sharing best practice. We will continue to find ways of ensuring we achieve this in this new environment.

We will use the months we have gained due to the postponement to work with our regional colleagues to plan our activities and networking opportunities. We will keep you updated as things progress. The latest information will always be available at

If you have already registered, we will be in touch to confirm that your registration and match preferences will be applied automatically to the rescheduled event.

Let us know if you have any questions by contacting

We remain excited to welcome and see you at the 2022 exchange in its new format and will be in touch with more information on specific October dates in the coming weeks. Until we are next in touch, we thank you for your understanding and hope you stay safe and healthy.

Best wishes,

Robyn Shearer, Chair, IIMHL Sponsoring Country Leadership Group

Brian Coffey, Chair, IIDL Sponsoring Country Leadership Group

Steve Appleton, President and CEO Designate, IIMHL/IIDL

Fran Silvestri, President and CEO, IIMHL/IIDL

How to join

There is no cost to join IIMHL or IIDL.

You can join if you are employed in a leadership role and you are endorsed by your employer or sponsoring organisation, or if you are acknowledged by the sector as having leadership responsibilities. Leadership roles can range from CEO through to Māori leaders, Pacific leaders, clinicians or consumers or family members who work in advocacy roles with leadership responsibilities in services

Key Contact



Te Pou has a wide range of evidence-based resources and tools to help the mental health, addiction and disability workforces.

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Our work

Te Pou works alongside mental health and addiction services, and disability organisations to understand their priorities and workforce challenges.

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